Easter is only around the corner and this year it coincides with the ANZAC Day weekend, meaning that for many of us it represents a great opportunity to take a few extra days off. And what better way to spend it than getting out of the city and hitting the open road?
Those who have planned ahead of time will no doubt have trips that will take a few hours, or even days, in order for them to reach their ideal destination. But for others who are a little last minute in their planning could find that some of the best holiday spots are a little closer to home.
We spoke to some of our REDARC experts about where their perfect day trip or weekend escape recommendations are around just two hours of their home city… perfect for your last-minute Easter escape.
Adelaide --> Wauraltee Beach
There are many designated free-camping sites on the Yorke Peninsula, however, our pick of the bunch is Wauraltee Beach. Situated 17km south of Port Victoria this campsite is nestled between secluded bush and Mallee overlooking the ocean.
If you’re wanting to disconnect from society this is the place for you as mobile reception is dodgy at best, and no real facilities are available. This site would best be suited to 4WD’s as it will enable you to drive along the stunning coast and access some of the many 4x4 and motorbike trails in the area.
Weather permitting, it can be a very popular site and when the weather is warm and during peak holiday periods, finding a spot may be more difficult. However, we feel that Easter is the perfect time to get in before winter starts to take hold.
Perth --> Jurien Bay/Sandy Cape
Jurien Bay is quickly becoming a family favourite, offering unspoilt beaches, fantastic fishing and a range of accommodation options. It’s located 2.5 hours north of Perth and is the perfect stop-over destination for those heading further north.
If you’re looking to get out amongst the great outdoors and away from the township, we recommend Sandy Cape Recreation Park. It’s only 10km out of town and offers a range of campsites on a first come, first serve basis.
Sandy Cape is a great base for people wishing to explore the coast by 4WD, which has become increasingly popular over the years. It is advisable that people visiting the area have a 4WD, however, the majority of campsites are 2WD accessible. For travellers looking for a little bit of adventure, we recommend following the tracks west off Sandy Cape Road where you can find well-preserved remains of a radar installation from the 2nd World War.
Melbourne --> Woods Point
For those wishing to head up to the High Country, Woods Point offers an ideal location combining the best of both worlds; camping and 4WDing. The terrain can vary with the weather conditions, the winter brings snow and more testing conditions whereas as the dryer months offer a more beginner-friendly experience, making Easter the perfect time to visit.
The Woods Point camping ground is one of the few locations that provides camping along the Snowy River, not only does it allow for great views of the river but also the surrounding native forests. The camping facilities include picnic tables, barbeques and a toilet. Like other camps on this list, camping here is on a first come, first serve basis so arriving early at a busy time like Easter is advisable.
For those looking for an alternative to 4WDing, there are plenty of other recreational activities on offer in and around Woods Point. Water-based activities such as canoeing and rafting are popular in the warmer months, hiking is also popular with a range of beginner to advanced walking trails scattered across the valley.
Brisbane -->Conondale National Park
Situated to the south of Kenilworth in the vicinity of the Sunshine Coast is Conondale National Park. There is plenty to do at Conondale such as 4WDing, bushwalking, untouched rainforests and some other obscure relics such as old mines and an active fire tower.
There are two main campsites in the park, the Boolumba Creek campground which is accessible via several river crossings and Charlie Moreland which is suitable for all vehicles. Most campsites are quite spacious and feature taps, fire rings and toilets. As this is a national park taking firewood is illegal, so we recommend visiting one of the many stalls along the way that sell generous sized bags for around $10.
Those tackling some of the walking trails should be aware that the majority are quite long, and phone reception can be a bit sketchy, so it pays to prepare a little before setting out. All camps will need to be pre-booked via the website and can fill up quickly especially at a time like Easter, so it is advisable to get in quick.
Sydney --> Wombeyan Caves
If you’re one of those people who like to keep their creature comforts and amenities close by, but still enjoy the thrill of camping, then Wombeyan Caves is the place for you. BBQ facilities, a café, showers and a communal kitchen enable Wombeyan Cave’s to be a glampers paradise. This large campground is perfect for RV’s, caravans and camper trailers and even offers accessibility for wheelchairs. Easter is a particularly nice time to visit the region as the pretty wildflowers are in full bloom.
The attraction here is a mixture of 4WD trails, and you guessed it, caves.
The 4WD trail is a twisting and turning unsealed beast that can be quite bumpy in places with several blind corners adding to the fun and offering a good opportunity to test your vehicle’s horn. Be prepared to stop and take photos along the way as the view from the valley offers a great Instagram and holiday snap opportunity so you can be the envy of all your mates.
For those who come to see the caves the good news is they can be accessed all year 'round. There really is too much to see and do in one day, so it is advisable to spend at least a weekend here.
The Junction, Kooringa, Mulwaree and Wollondilly Caves are best visited by guided tour whereas the Figtree Cave is regarded as one of Australia’s best self-guided caves.
Hobart --> South Bruny Island
Although it’s only a short drive from Hobart, at times it feels as though you couldn’t be further than the Apple Isles’ capital city. Bruny Island is the perfect location for day-trippers or those planning an impromptu weekend away. Due to its proximity to Hobart, you can travel relatively light, picking up gourmet food along the way. This could be anything from fresh oysters, berries, smoked meats and most importantly, cheese and wine.
We recommend heading to the southern part of the island where you will find some 4wd-esque trails running from west to east through the State Forest – all of which end up at the picturesque Adventure Bay on the east coast.
The tracks are nothing too hardcore and are well suited for beginners. It is by no means a place to rush and taking the time to take in the pristine views is the best way to explore the island.
For those wishing to make a weekend out of their stay on the island, the good news is that one of the most spectacular free camping locations is here; Cloudy Corner. It’s an isolated campsite that is accessible only to 4WD vehicles and offers limited facilities. But hey, isn’t that what camping is all about?
So, there you have it, some pristine locations that are just a stone’s throw away from your nearest capital city. Where will you be heading off to this Easter?